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ARTICLE ID 158320

$________ - WRONGFUL DENIAL OF COVERAGE FOR MOTOR HOME PROPERTY DAMAGE - BREACH OF INSURANCE CONTRACT - INSURANCE COMPANY REFUSES TO PAY FOR MOTOR HOME BURNED UNDER SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.

Middlesex County, MA

The plaintiff sued his auto insurance company for breach of contract after his motor home was destroyed in a fire and the insurance company refused to pay for the property damage. The defendant contended that it was not obligated to pay based on its assertion that the plaintiff started the fire.

The plaintiff lived on a wooded lot in Massachusetts. He owned a motor home that he kept in a garage toward the rear of his property. When the fire broke out, the plaintiff was in his house; he was alerted to something unusual when his dog started barking. While he was investigating what had disturbed the dog, the plaintiff saw a dim light coming from the motor home, and noticed a vehicle pulling away from the front of his house. He discovered that the motor home was on fire and called ________. The first responders to the emergency did not have a fire extinguisher and the gas tank in the motor home caught fire, destroying the vehicle.

The plaintiff testified at trial that he did not set the fire. He showed that he had no motive for arson; he had plenty of money, he had no debts, and he had paid off the mortgage on the motor home before the trial. To prove damages, he showed that he had originally paid $________ for the ________ motor home, and that its NADA value was $________ when it was destroyed.

The defendant insurance company contended that the plaintiff started the fire; therefore, the company wasn’t obligated to pay 3 3 under the insurance policy. The fire marshal testified that its investigation showed accelerants in the area of the blaze, and concluded that the fire was of suspicious origin. The insurance company disputed the plaintiff’s claim as to the value of the vehicle, and called an expert who appraised the vehicle at $________ to $________.

The plaintiff lost on his claims under the Massachusetts consumer protection act, which were tried to the court. He prevailed on his breach of insurance claims, which were tried to a jury. The jury awarded $________ in damages, plus interest, for a total of $________.

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